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Wild Week

Last week had about a year of family highlights crammed into a few days. Sally, the wife of our youngest son, Bennett, gave birth to their first child, Mac Anderson Acuff.  We were able to meet him just a few hours later.  It’s a great experience seeing your child hold his child.  (I have to admit, it’s also a bit amusing to witness the shock of a sleep-deprived new parent as he realizes that that baby is going home with them.)

Our other son, Jon and his family, had scheduled a Disney World trip that week, timing it with Mac’s due date in Tampa, where Bennett and Sally live.  So, we had just finished riding the Peter Pan ride in Fantasy Land of Magic Kingdom with L.E., 6, and McRae, 4, when the call came that Mac had arrived.  After riding Space Mountain, Libby and I hit the road for Tampa, guided by our new Garman, Libby’s BFF.  We later made it back for another day at Disney.

Meanwhile, our second son, Will, was celebrating his 30th birthday in Nashville, where he and Tiffany live.  Molly was back in Chapel Hill, going through her first college exam period, stunned that her parents had abandoned her.

The week ended with me flying back on Saturday to participate in the first child dedication service at the Gathering Church, which was awesome.  Four kids: Perry, Charis, Hudson, and Anna were presented by their parents, and embraced by the church as the gifts they are.

A week of great moments, marking great blessings from God.  All the time, in the background I was mindful of Mary’s thoughts about the promise of her own child.  I would be speaking about what she said about her experience, found in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke.   

It’s very interesting to do Disney while thinking about Mary.

Disney is so right about several things:

  • Children really, really matter (thus, so do families)
  • People were made for joy and celebration
  • Evil has to be overcome  (The Snow White ride is really kind of scary and very dark, but McRae assured me, “Its only paper and drawings, Papa.”)

Mary was overcome with joy about the promise of her son.  Her joy was based on an assumption about the world, an assumption that I must admit, I don’t share in my experience.

She assumed that the world was upside-down in respect to what God had in mind, and that her Son would turn it right-side up.  She was on the wrong side of a world that uses power for position.  And, here’s the problem, I’ve mostly been on the right side of that world.  Power has mostly served to give me a very good life.  I don’t think that I should feel guilty about it or complain about the blessings my nation and generation have enjoyed.  But, I better see power the way that Mary describes it, the way that God designed it – meant for blessing, not position.  Blessing, particularly for those with the least power.

I don’t entirely know what to do with what Mary said.  But, I will attempt to use whatever power I have to bless, and I will attempt to reject whatever power does not.

It was a full week and Mary ruined the sweet, little sermon I had planned.  I’m glad.